Indigenous peoples in Colombia: The Foundation of Islam and Indigenous Muslims in Colombia will become more POWERFUL than FARC, AUC, Drug Cartels and ELN

Indigenous peoples in Colombia: The Foundation of Islam and Indigenous Muslims in Colombia will become more POWERFUL than FARC, AUC, Drug Cartels and ELN


Indigenous peoples of Colombia, or Native Colombians, are the ethnic groups who have been in Colombia prior to the Europeans in the early 16th century. Known as pueblos indígenas in Spanish, they comprise 3.4% of the country’s population and belong to 87 different tribes.[1]


Approximately 80% of the indigenous peoples of Colombia live in the La Guajira, Cauca, and Nariño Departments. While the Amazonian region of Colombia is sparsely populated, it is home to over 70 different indigenous ethnic groups.[1]

Indigenous Colombians
Baile de cortejo Wayuu.jpg

The Wayuu are the largest indigenous ethnic group in Colombia.
Total population
(1,378,884 (2005)
3.4% of Colombia‘s population[1])
Regions with significant populations
Indigenous languages and Spanish
Roman Catholicism, Evangelicalism, Irreligion, Native religions


Amerindian population of Colombia by municipality in 2005.

  61.4% – 100%
  29.6% – 61.3%
  11.7% – 29.5%
  2.9% – 11.6%
  0% – 2.8%
  Without data

Indigenous peoples hold title to substantial portions of Colombia, primarily in the form of Indigenous Reserves (Spanish: resguardos), which encompass one-third of the country’s land.[1] The Indigenous Affairs division of the Ministry of Interior has 567 reserves on record, covering approximately 365,004 km² which are home to 800,272 persons in 67,503 families.[6]


The 1991 National Constitution of Colombia defined Territorial Entities (Entidades Territoriales) as departments, districts, municipalities and indigenous territories. Within an Indigenous Territory Entity (ETI) the people have autonomy in managing their interests, and within the limits of the constitution have the right to manage resources and define taxes required to perform their duties. ETIs are to be defined by the government in conformance with the Organic Law on Land Management. However, this law has yet to be sanctioned so in practice the territories are unregulated.[7]

Major ethnic groups

According to the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC), there are 102 indigenous groups in Colombia.[8]

Highland peoples refer to the cultures of the Andes and the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta of Colombia, while lowland peoples refer to the inhabitants of Chocó, Amazonia, Guajira and the Caribbean Coast, the Urabá Region and other non-mountain cultures.

Highland peoples

Lowland peoples


The statistics for Islam in Colombia estimate a total Muslim population of 14,000 (0.03%) according to a Pew Research Center report.[1] There are a number of Islamic communities in Colombia, the most important of which, according to their size, are in Bogotá, Maicao and Buenaventura. There are also Islamic centers in San Andrés, Nariño, and Santa Marta.

There are also primary and secondary Islamic schools in Bogotá and Maicao. Maicao plays host to the continent’s third largest mosque, the Mosque of Omar Ibn Al-Khattab. Most muslims in Colombia are descendants of Arab immigrants from Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine during the late 19th to early 20th century.[2]

The Afro-Colombian Muslims in Buenaventura, Colombia’s main Pacific port city, have over the years embraced the teachings of the Nation of Islam, mainstream Sunni Islam, and the Shia denomination [3]

The Ahmadiyya Community also has a presence in the country.[4]


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